Using Credit Cards While Traveling, etc.
Posted on Jul 02, 2013 by
We were in the UK, France, Hungary, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and Italy last Fall. We used a Visa card without any problems for restaurant meals and purchases.
For cash, I had learned somewhere that Capitol One Bank does not charge you to use ANY ATM machine if you have a balance of, I believe, $1,000 in your checking account. I opened an account with them with enough money to be able to make withdrawals as necessary. Since I had my little netbook with me, and had set up the Capitol One account in the on-line bill pay system of my regular bank, I was able to make transfers to the Capitol One account when needed so that the balance was always adequate. Be advised that it is best to put cash into the account as they held my check from the bank around the corner for over a week until they cleared it. The transfers didn`t take that long to clear, but they come in the form of a bank check, not a personal check.
We also went to our regular bank a week before we left and ordered some Pounds and Euros so that we had pocket money to start with. We were a little surprised in Hungary when we had to get some of their currency as we had believed that they were on the Euro, too. The ATM card worked fine to give us a fistful of Hungarian money.
One hint: I have certain bills automatically charged to my Visa like my cell phone and a few others. In case my Visa card became compromised, I used a different Visa card than my usual one. That way if I had to cancel the card, I was not cutting off my bills from being paid.
I hope I have been of help.
We are going to Barcelona for 3 days before sailing on a Transatlantic cruise, so we won`t bother opening another Capitol One account (I was not very happy with the bank other than their free ATM). We`ll take a bunch of Euros with us and for the one or two times we might need an ATM, we`ll be fine as our bank permits a few withdrawals from other machines without charge.